Contrary to conventional wisdom, environmental regulation often creates jobs.Image: truthout.orgWhat’s good for job growth, good for the environment, and good for public health? No, it’s not a trick question, but it is a reassessment of what passes for conventional wisdom in Washington, D.C., these days. The answer is the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and other enormously popular environmental regulations enacted in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s with strong bipartisan support.
Let’s start with the conventional wisdom. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) recently called for the repeal of 10 “job-destroying” regulations, calling them “costly bureaucratic handcuffs that Washington has imposed upon business people who want to create jobs.” On the list are regulations that limit air pollution, maintain the ozone layer, curtail greenhouse-gas emissions, and prevent contaminants from entering ground water. (Also on the chopping block: labor standards and health protections.) The rationale behind the proposed repeal of these important environmental regulations is somewhat baffling, but here’s an example to try to... Read more